Friday, November 26

Concern over the whereabouts of the tennis player who accused a former Chinese vice premier of sexual assault

Concern is growing over the whereabouts of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, about whom nothing has been publicly known since he accused her country’s former deputy prime minister, Zhang Gaoli, of having sexually assaulted her.

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14-time Grand Slam winner Chris Evert has asked on Twitter “any kind of information” about your partner. “These allegations are very disturbing. I have known Peng since she was 14 years old; we should all be concerned; this is serious; where is she? Is she safe?”

Tennis player Naomi Osaka has also joined, who Has expressed its “shock“because of Peng’s” disappearance. “” Censorship is never okay, for no reason. I hope Peng Shuai and her family are safe and well. I’m in shock for the current situation and I send you love and light. # Where isPengShuai, “said the number three of tennis.

On November 2, on a post now deleted, Peng said she had an intermittent extramarital “affair” with Zhang for several years, reports The Guardian.

According to her account, Zhang tried to keep the relationship a secret and had stopped contacting her after rising through the ranks of the Communist Party. The 75-year-old politician and vice premier of China between 2013 and 2018, even expressed concern that she could record their meetings. During those five years, Zhang was one of seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee, headed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The 35-year-old tennis player said that three years ago Zhang contacted her again to invite her to play tennis with him and his wife and then sexually assaulted her at home. “I never indulged him that afternoon, [estuve] crying all the time, “he wrote.

“I know someone of his height, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, would say that he is not afraid,” Peng said., according to the BBC. “But I’ll tell the truth about you even if it only means hitting a large rock with a pebble, or the self-destruction of a moth attacking a flame.”

During the story, Peng says he has no evidence to back up his claims. “I have no evidence. It has been impossible to get any. There is no audio or video record, just my distorted experience, but very real.”

The Chinese government has not responded to the allegations. During a press conference two weeks ago, Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, told reporters that he was not aware of the situation. “I have not heard of the issue they have raised,” he said. “It is not a diplomatic question.”

Censorship in social networks

As reported The Guardian, the tennis player’s post on Weibo, a Chinese social network similar to Twitter, went viral on Chinese social networks but was deleted within minutes and searches for Peng, former number one in the tennis doubles rankings, were apparently restricted. Post and post reactions, including keywords like “tennis”, also appear to have been blocked. The Peng’s Weibo account still active but without mention of Zhang.

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has shown its “deep concern” about the situation of the tennis player and has asked that the accusations “be treated with the utmost seriousness.” “Peng Shuai, and all women, deserve to be heard, not censored,” he said. it’s a statement in which he praises the “remarkable courage and strength” of the tennis player when denouncing. The WTA has called for the situation to be investigated “in a full, fair, transparent and uncensored manner.”

Steve Simon, executive director of WTA, has said in statements The New York Times that according to “various sources, including the China Tennis Association,” Peng “is safe and under no physical threat.” But she added that they have not been able to contact her directly to confirm her status. “I understand that she is in Beijing, in China, but I cannot confirm it because I have not spoken directly with her,” he said.

For its part, the world governing body of men’s professional tennis (ATP, for its acronym in English) has communicated this Monday that they will continue to “monitor the situation closely” and have shown their support for the WTA inquiry request.

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